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Home » Madrasahs Ichan-kala in Khiva. Historical and architectural monuments of Uzbekistan.

Sayid Niaz Shalykarbay Madrasah.

Excursions on history of architecture of Khiva.

"In the temporary world, the essence of which is decay,
    Don't surrender to things unimportant captured,
    Consider only the omnipresent spirit in the world,
    Alien of any material change"

Omar Khayyam.

Take an excursion in Khiva.

The building was constructed by Seyid Niyaz Shalykarbay, a rich merchant of Khiva in 1842. The granddaughter of Seyyid Niyaz Shalykarbay Pasha Ana (granny) talking about his grandfather from her father Khudaibergen ata`s (grandpa) words recalls the following:
"Our grandfather, Sayyid Niyaz Shalykar, was called dapmachi - rice burnisher. His father was a wealthy merchant, after his death, all the wealth devolved to Sayyid Niazi".
It expanded the production even more. He expanded the production even more. One day Seyyid Niaz with his friend Eshmatbay, a merchant from Bukhara having loaded variety of goods on the camels, departed with a caravan for Iran.
They were lucky to sell out in a short while all the goods they brought there   and having made friends with the local merchants stayed in Iran for a few months. All the money (except for the initial capital) that they have earned from trade was shirked with the friends; they ate, drank, had fun and they spent almost al the money completely.
However in the view of the fact that Seyyid Shalykar Bai was a person with open heart and generous man he could not leave the company of his friends. When it was time to go home to homeland his friend Eshmatbay said: - "What shall we do now, what are we going to do next?" - Seyyid Niyaz responded: - "Right now we will go to the market and for the money left about us (capital) we’ll buy as many goods as we can, load them on the camels and will return home».
When the friends came to the market the money they had was not enough to buy good products. For this reason wandering through the market they turned out near a young guy who despite his young age was sitting in a corner, hunched over like an old men with overgrown beard and mustache, dressed in tattered clothes and all in rags, who was selling white chewing gum or sulfur of "Bukhari" variety.
Saying that the remaining money can buy nothing but the white cud and the days of the Muslim holiday (Eid - Khayit) were coming close and probably trade with this good was going to be fairly well they bought up the guy’s all the white  chewing sulfur (Oq sakich).
Overjoyed beyond the measure   money remained at them they gave away to that young man as a gift. Then they loaded all their goods on camels and Eshmatbay went to Bukhara and Seyid Niyaz to Khiva.
Having arrived to Khiva Seyyid Niaz crushed a piece of cud and could not believe his eyes - from pieces of chewing sulfur gold coins (Tilla), pearls and precious stones tumbled out.
Seyyid Niaz hid half of his of wealth in the a known place, to be on the safe side, instructed his wife that if he never returned back those treasures will last for their seven generations, tied in his belt the remaining wealth and went to the Khan.
After receiving permission he came to the Khan`s audience and said: - "If there be the highest order, give me permission to build a mosque on the money earned fairly». Then Seyyid Niyaz Shalykar putting his wealth brought there before the Khan told him the storey that had happened to them.
The Khan plunged into a long thought and then said: - "I give you permission to build a mosque, but you must also send the owner his share». Thus to the east from the gates of Palvan darvaza of Ichan-Qala (on the site of Dishan-Qala) had started construction of the mosque.
Among the people there were rumors that in the construction of the mosque only one master worked and the remaining work were carried out by children. To each of children who had brought one brick one walnut was given.
In order to gather more nuts children brought bricks running and the construction of the mosque progressed rapidly. After completion of the construction believers started making a prayer in the mosque.
During the Muslim holiday Khayit the Khan and his entourage went to commit Khayit namaz (prayers to honor the Eid) in the mosque Namazgah located outside the gates of Gandimyan-Darvaza in Dishan Qala.
Having seen Seyid Niyaz Shalykarbay who stiffened in welcome bow before the mosque Khan greeted him with words - "Madrassah Mubarak" ("Blessed be the madrassah") and passed by with his entourage.
Seyid Niyaz was surprised and he said to himself - "Why the Khan said this!"  Then having thought he said - "let the words uttered by the Khan won't be ignored", saying these words he started construction of madrassah on the east side of the mosque.
Construction of the mosque falls on the reign of the Khan of Khiva Alla Quli Khan. The requirements set forth before the architect for construction of the mosque were as follows: - it should be covered premises which must place many people at a time and inside the  courtyard there must be a cool place for believers to rest  (in hot weather).
Exactly the same conditions are present in Seyyid Shalykarbay mosque nowadays. General ensemble Seyyid Shalykarbay consists of winter and summer mosques, a two-storied madrassah, minaret and two courtyards.
The winter mosque is a monumental structure with nine calottes supported by four massive columns. On the three sides of the winter mosque there are three doors, the main entrance to the mosque is from the door set in the wall on the north side of the aivan. In the aivan of the summer mosque there are three wooden pillars on which the best traditions of Khivan woodcarving are displayed.
On the columns of the aivan among the patterned coils the date of 1212 Hijra (1797) is written in Arabic script. Aivan of the summer mosque traditionally faces the north. On the walls of aivan of a summer mosque the figured patterned panels are made by ganch carving.
The madrassah is attached from the north-eastern side of the mosque. The madrassah is two-storied, on its first floor there are five hujras and six hujras on the second. At present the mosque operates as a cathedral (Jami) Mosque for Khiva and vicinity.
There is also a branch of the Religious Board of Muslims of Uzbekistan is located.